White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Friday declined to say whether President Donald Trump directed a senior campaign official to instruct longtime confidant Roger Stone to contact WikiLeaks, after Stone was arrested early Friday.
“A senior Trump Campaign official was directed to contact Stone about any additional releases and what other damaging information Organization 1 had regarding the Clinton Campaign,” the indictment from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation reads, referring to Stone’s 2016 contact with WikiLeaks, which later leaked a trove of emails from the campaign of Trump’s opponent Hillary Clinton.
Asked about the indictment and Stone’s arrest on CNN, Sanders would not say whether Trump directed the official, who is likely Steve Bannon.
“I haven’t read this document. I’m not an attorney. I’m not going to be able to get into the weeds on the specifics,” she said, before claiming: “That has nothing to do with the president.”
She repeatedly claimed Stone’s arrest “has nothing to do with the president and certainly nothing to do with the White House. This is something that has to do solely with that individual, not something that affects us in this building.”
Sanders also made a false equivalence, comparing Stone to Trump administration foes like Clinton, former FBI Director James Comey and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.
“Will the same standard apply to people like Hillary Clinton, James Comey, Clapper?” Sanders asked of Stone’s charges for making false statements.
Stone, an informal adviser to Trump, has admitted to contacting Russian intelligence officers and WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign.